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Posts Tagged ‘Online Marketing Ecosystem’

Klout Finally Gets Down To Business

By John Joyce on March 22, 2013 - Comments 0

Klout for BusinessI have always seen Klout as a unique way to get an exclusive offer in front of influencers and potential new customers but, never really considered it a “business class” marketing platform. With the announcement of Klout for Business this week, companies will now have access to a complimentary set of analytic tools with detailed insights into how and where influencers are engaging with their brands in social media.

After running a couple of perks on the Klout network in the past myself, I was frustrated by the lack of feedback and analytic insights so I’m pleased to see this functionality coming to fruition.  Klout is collecting such valuable data regarding the interactions between so-called “digital influencers” (of whom Klout claims to reach 70%) and prospective consumers of your products and services, that it seems like a logical progression to move in this direction.

What Does Klout for Business Offer?

Klout for Business will continue to develop into a portal where we intend to help brands and agencies streamline their understanding, management and engagement with this important segment of the digital population. Our goal is to help brands and influencers build relationships that transcend the current advertiser-consumer dynamic.

The delivery of Klout for Business wisdom will come in the form of a dashboard where brands will be able to easily understand (1) their audience; (2) optimizing their reach within the appropriate networks to reach their target influencers; (3) popular topics within their core target; and (4) the top conversations and “moments” driving their campaign.  (see sample below)

Klout for Business - Network View Klout for Business Topics View

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Klout is just starting the process of beta testing this new service so head over to their site and sign up if you want to help guide this effort and empower you to nurture your relationships with key influencers and cultivate your brand.

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Don’t Forget the ‘Info’ When Creating Infographics

By John Joyce on July 18, 2012 - Comments 0

What are the best infographics of 2012?

Check out some of the top infographics for 2012 over at HubSpot.

Infographics are quickly becoming the bane of the web mostly due to the lack of actual or accurate data to support the pretty picture that has been designed as a delivery vehicle.

You need look no further than recent comments by Matt Cutts in an interview with Eric Enge where he discusses the importance of not only creating original content but making sure you’re bringing unique and valuable information to the table.  And by ‘valuable’ I mean accurate insight that is easily consumable.  Matt voices his apprehension with infographics, “What concerns me is the types of things that people are doing with them. They get far off topic, or the fact checking is really poor. The infographic may be neat, but if the information it’s based on is simply wrong, then it’s misleading people.”

Visual.ly, the website that brings together designers and businesses in need of infographics, understand the need to create compelling and accurate data visualizations as a part of an effective content strategy.  If you haven’t checked out Visual.ly, you should definitely give it a try.  You can create some fun Facebook and Twitter infographics but, if you want to create truly compelling infographics for your business, you should probably leave that up to the 32K designers in the Visual.ly community.

Anybody can create a PowerPoint presentation but that doesn’t mean anybody should.  We’ve all learned in business that it’s best to leave that type of project to the professionals and now we can say the same about infographics.

Do you have any infographic stories to share?

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Want Some Cool Free Stickers to Promote Your Business?

By John Joyce on June 29, 2011 - Comments 0

I have been a bit lax in writing here at The Small BizNest since joining the MOOCrew but figured I could make up for it by offering some freebies to you all.  MOO has developed some great new sticker products that allow businesses of all types to add some creativity to their offline marketing efforts.  MOO round stickers and labels are printed on thick, durable vinyl with a glossy finish. There are four stickers/labels printed on a perforated sheet, so you can tear and share one or more at a time, or use an entire sheet to show off 4 of your different designs at once.  The sticker sheets come in a protective box that you can easily re-brand and sell or give as a gift to clients.

If you’re one of the first 75 people to follow this link, you’ll be able to order a set of round or rectangular stickers completely free!

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What KPIs Should You Track?

By John Joyce on March 2, 2011 - Comments 0

The only way for you to accurately understand which Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you should track is to understand which answers you are seeking. Reports are useless if they don’t tell a story, give insights, and offer measurable/actionable tactics that help you achieve your goals. You must take a step back and develop a thought process that maps KPIs to your overall business strategy.

Here’s an example. Maybe you’ve recently deployed Google Analytics on your website and you’re wondering why you haven’t been able to leverage the great data that’s being gathered such as:

  • Total Unique Visitors
  • Pageviews
  • Bounce Rate
  • New Visits
  • Traffic Source
  • Average Time On Page

Read more…

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5 Free Tools That Automate Your Business

By John Joyce on February 15, 2011 - Comments 0

5 Free Tools, small busines marketing, online marketing, zoho, zopim, freshbooks, hootsuite, spiceworksThe challenging economic climate has taught business owners that it’s absolutely imperative they embrace solutions that will help them work smarter and focus on generating revenue. Of course, limited budgets make business automation solutions that much more difficult to evaluate and implement. If your number one goal for 2011 is to bolster lead generation, customer acquisition, or customer retention, you must ask yourself this question: How am I going to create operational efficiencies that will free up my time, give me leverage, and allow me to grow my business?  Read the entire post over on OPEN Forum.

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Your Small Business And Technology: How Do You Maintain A Competitive Edge?

By John Joyce on January 5, 2011 - Comments 0

The Small BizNest Reviews New Book, The New SmallThis is really the prelude to a book review that is forthcoming but I wanted to start the conversation about challenges facing small business owners when determining which technologies will have a positive impact on their overall business growth. The prevalence of open source development platforms has become a double-edged sword. The good news: Anyone can develop applications fairly easily. The bad news: Anyone can develop applications fairly easily.

There are so many choices that it’s impossible to keep abreast of new technology, new versions of existing products and new companies popping up in already crowded markets. The alternative, however, is to stick your head in the sand and be left in the dust by your competitors.

Phil Simon has written a book that offers real world examples of small businesses that are enjoying success by harnessing the power of emerging technologies. Please look out for a full review in the coming weeks and be sure to check out the book yourself.

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Does Your Website Suck? 5 Free Tools to Help You Find Out

By John Joyce on October 29, 2010 - Comments 2

Your site might look fine on the surface but it could have many issues you’re not even aware of and this could be hurting your lead generation and customer conversion efforts.  Here are five tools that will allow you to take a look under the hood and get an in-depth diagnostic view of your website:

1)  Website Grader

Website Grade for www.thesmallbiznest.com

Website Grader actually gives your website a grade, X/100, based on it’s adherence to “searchability” best practices relative to the other sites that have been tested. (currently 2,973,941 sites have been graded) A report is generated and offers areas for improvement including the following:

  • Checks for a blog and gives a grade
  • Number of indexed pages
  • Readability level
  • Inbound links
  • Do you have a permanent 301 redirect of yourcompany.com to www.yourcompany.com?
  • Is your domain going to expire soon?  (it’s important to show the search engines you’re in for the long haul)
  • Do you have an RSS feed?  Do you have a conversion form?

2)  W3C Validator

W3C Validation Service

The W3C Markup Validation Service checks the markup validity of Web documents in HTML, XHTML, SMIL, MathML, etc. The whole concept behind the W3C organization is to encourage the use of standards compliant, user-friendly and accessible code. The feedback from this tool is extremely technical and would be best suited for your website developer.

3)  Pearanaltyics

Pearanalytics screenshot

Pear Analytics has a more friendly user interface and offers great detail on how to fix website issues and the degree of difficulty for each recommended change.  Some of the relevant checks they perform are as follows:

  • 404 error handling
  • Do you have analytics installed?
  • Domain age (the older the better)
  • Duplicate content
  • Do you have a sitemap?

4)  Reactionengine.com

Reaction Engine

The Reaction Engine is another bare bones technical tool that is geared toward the developer crowd.  The key difference with this tool is that it analyzes the SEO performance of a URL based on a given key phrase.

5)  Woorank.com

Woorank

Woorank is a very comprehensive reporting tool with a great looking interface and the ability to save a copy of the report as a pdf.  You can drill down and gain a great deal of insight from stats such as:

  • Traffic to your site
  • Valid robots.txt file
  • Usability
  • Related websites
  • Directory listings
  • Social media presence

The one caveat I did find when trying each of these tools?  Some of the results are inconsistent, for example, Pear Analytics reported that I did not have an H1 heading and the others saw that I did.  So, if you’re going to take the plunge and optimize your site using free tools, make sure you get a second opinion before making any big changes.

Of course, if you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, please reach out and we’ll give you a hand.

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What if You Could Combine Outbound/Offline Marketing with Inbound/Online Marketing?

By John Joyce on October 28, 2010 - Comments 2

If you have a local business and still rely on direct mail to reach prospects as well as existing customers, then you have experienced the fear of not knowing whether you have achieved any ROI.  What if you could actually track the audience response to your direct mail campaigns and even follow their progress through your own online portal?  What if you could track their referral activity once they transitioned into the online world and allow them to utilize social networking links to evangelize your offer to their network of contacts?  And, finally, what if you could reward these customers based on their influence and ability to drive new customers to your business?  That would be just Dukky!

I read an article about a company called Dukky in the July 2010 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine where the founder of Dukky, Shawn Burst, had an idea to revive the dying direct marketing and print industries.  Let’s face it, more than 99% of “junk mail” goes directly into the trash. But, with this solution, you have a lead generation system that marries the offline marketing world with the online marketing world. Take a look at the video below to get a better understanding of exactly how Dukky works:

“According to the Direct Marketing Association, more than 54 percent of all advertising spending in the United States goes into direct-marketing channels. Spending in 2009 was more than $149 billion; direct mail and catalogs alone made up $44.4 billion of that.”

Businesses spent more than $44B in 2009 on direct mail and catalogs and they have no idea what kind of return they’re getting on their investment.  Now, Dukky will allow them to develop direct mail campaigns that can be tested and tracked for effectiveness.

For the small businesses that use postcards to remain top-of-mind with prospects, now you can entice them to participate in a more interactive process, to better understand your USP and to share a special offer with their social network.  Dukky’s small business solution is currently in beta and pricing starts at $99/month so I suggest you get in touch with them and find out how they can help you leverage their solution to grow your business.

The reports of direct marketing’s death have been greatly exaggerated – according to Shawn Burst at least.

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50% Discount for Small Business Technology Tour In Boston

By John Joyce on October 19, 2010 - Comments 0

The Small BizNest invites small business owners to attend the small business technolgy tour

Friends of The Small BizNest are eligible for a 50% discount on admission to the Small Business Technology Tour in Boston next week.  Ramon Ray, founder of Smallbiztechnology.com, has put together a great series of events to educate growing companies – whether you are an entrepreneur or a small business owner – in how to use technology as a tool to grow your business.  The next event will be taking place on October 25th at the Microsoft New England Research & Development Center. (NERD)

Check out our latest newsletter for more information on enrollment and other cities where you can attend this great event.

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LinkedIn Adds “Share” Functionality To Help Boost Your Presence

By John Joyce on June 2, 2010 - Comments 0

I just received an email from LinkedIn announcing a new feature that essentially allows you to share your favorite news and media from within your profile.  This is really a natural progression and I’m sure there were plenty of customers clamoring for more publishing and sharing capabilities to be built into the application.

Now you can share your favorite news and media from within your LinkedIn account

Personally, I use CoTweet as my main dashboard for posting updates and then send them to LinkedIn via Ping.fm but, for someone who spends the majority of their time on LinkedIn, this is a very easy way to position yourself as an expert from within the most powerful business networking platform.

The process is very simple and can be seen in the video below:

Give it a try and let us know what you think!
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